Today’s cannabis consumer is a professional adult interested in wellness and an alternative form of recreation. This consumer doesn’t want to feel like their legal purchase is somehow illegitimate. The best dispensaries know that and have engineered everything from decorations, store layout, and staff to guarantee that their customers enjoy their product in addition to, not in spite of, their purchasing experience.
Maine and Massachusetts will soon join the fold, but recreational sales have already launched in Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state. Retailers in these states have had the time to analyze market trends, build their brands, and establish themselves as excellent places of business in their communities. Here are the ones that have come out on top.
Alaska: Enlighten Alaska
Enlighten Alaska is a family owned dispensary with a passion for cannabis education and wellness. The menu has a diverse selection of flower, concentrates, and prerolls, but its edibles category is pretty sparse.
Best Review: “Super nice people, nice shop inside. Parking is a hassle, but that’s Spenard for you. The gal who runs the shop keeps the website updated with prices and varieties daily, which change frequently. Cannabis product prices are on par with other places in town. This place is similar to AK Fireweed. The vibe is upscale, dare I say classy? They seem very legit and thorough and safe… I know that sounds weird, but this isn’t the kind of place where you’d get hassled if you know what I mean. I would say this and AK Fireweed seem to be nicest cannabis dispensaries in Anchorage.”
California: Bud and Bloom
Best Review: “This place is unbelievable. The actual place is clean, feels inviting, is very organized. Now the people are GREAT, I have no experience with any of this kind of stuff, I have never even lit a lighter in my entire life. Because of my health I need to start learning more about this stuff. The people that work here are so patient, they take their time in learning about what you need and why you need it, and even what you are or aren’t willing to do. They are very knowledgeable about flowers, edibles, and tinctures. Today Marlo took so much time and patience with me to learn and HEAR what I needed and why. Then he just took control and gave me different choices. I never felt rushed or pushed into an item. In fact, out of what I had picked out, he put 90% of the items back on the shelves and showed me better items with more effects. This place is completely different.”
Colorado: Ballpark Holistic Dispensary
Best Review: “I come here as a medical patient and am always happy with the product that I get and with the customer service. This is one of the best dispensaries in downtown. Their recreational side has a huge selection too, and they have fancy edibles such as chocolate truffles.
I can count on Ballpark to keep the edibles and concentrates stocked on their medical side. Keeping things stocked on the medical side is a huge problem at many dispensaries who also serve recreational in Denver. But Ballpark always has plenty to choose from, and at better prices than most. They have sweet grass, Cheeba chews, incredibles bars, etc. The concentrates are top quality and there are many types to choose from – shatter, wax, budder, live resin, and so on.
Whether you are a medical patient or recreational customer, Ballpark won’t disappoint you.”
Nevada: Essence Cannabis Dispensaries
Conveniently located in the Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana West, or Henderson, the classy and beautifully designed Essence locations are an excellent choice for tourists and locals alike.
Best Review: “Essence Cannabis Dispensary is absolutely the best dispensary in Vegas. With 3 locations, medical and recreational patients can enjoy top shelf and premium shelf flowers, edibles and concentrates. They even have a value shelf for those who are on a tight budget. 10% discount for locals is always a PLUS – not many dispensaries offer a discount for return patients… but ESSENCE does!! I love their quality and variety of strains. Whether a local or tourist to Vegas, Essence is a definite stop to make.”
Oregon: Rose City Wellness Center
Locally owned and operated, Rose City Wellness Center was one of Portland’s first cannabis retailers and is known for its deals and professional staff.
Best Review: “Love this spot! Great prices on quality flowers and extracts! I got a gram of some amazing crumble and an eighth of some superb GG#4 and I’m really impressed with their quality. Now of course because it’s located in old town I know that may throw people off (I know it did for me at first) but don’t let that fool you because once inside you’re in a whole other world!! I’ve been to almost every dispensary throughout Portland and so far this is definitely one of my favorites!!! I will definitely be a regular!”
Washington: Pot Stop
The Pot Stop is the oldest cannabis retailer in Seattle. It was originally a medical dispensary but has evolved to service recreational users as well. This boutique experience is known for great product and professional expertise.
Best Review: “Started going to this shop years ago when it was a Medical Dispensary and continue to go here today. There are at least a dozen shops between my house that this shop and it is well worth the drive. Always consistent products and quality. A wide selection of favorite standard products and always an assortment of new products. The staff is great, very informed, and knowledgeable. There are also many long-term staff that help maintain the quality and consistency. It’s the only place I go. Thanks!”